This concert is now over but Rowantree choir continues to thrive. Information about concerts and membership can be found on The Rowantree Choir website.
Our concert is on Saturday 14th July 2007 at 7.30pm in The United Reformed Church, Fox Lane, Palmers Green, LONDON, N13 4AL The conductor is Jonathan Rathbone and the Tenor Soloist is Jon English. Tickets from 020 8360 7602
The choir’s motto ‘Diversity in Harmony’ well describes our next concert, as ‘Made in the USA’ will include music to suit a variety of taste. The main piece is ‘Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast’ by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor with words taken from the poem by Longfellow which is scored for four-part harmony and Tenor soloist. We have had an interesting time learning and pronouncing the native American words from the glossary at the front of the scores. For example it says that ‘wigwam’ (which I have always pronounced with a short ‘a’ as in the word ‘cat’ should be pronounced with a long ‘a’ as in ‘car’) and some of the native American names are real tongue twisters! The first lines of the piece:
‘You shall hear how Pau-Puk-Kee-wis,
How the handsome Yenadizze,
Danced at Haiwatha’s wedding;…’
are typical. Coleridge-Taylor has very cleverly used repetitive ‘drum beat’ rhythms throughout to give an authentic native American feel to the piece.
The rest of the concert is taken up with songs from American composers, from the late 19th and 20th Centuries. These include medleys from George and Ira Gershwin, (‘Let’s call the whole thing off’, ‘I’ve got rhythm’, …) and Stephen Foster (‘O Suzanna’, ‘Beautiful Dreamer’, …), plus works that include names of American States and cities, including Hoagy Carmichael‘s ‘Georgia’ and, of course, Leonard Bernstein‘s ‘America’. (This year sees the 50th anniversary of ‘West Side Story’.) One very enjoyable piece to sing is the beautiful spiritual ‘Nobody knows (the trouble I’ve seen)’, particularly appropriate in this year where we have marked the 200th Anniversary of the Abolition of Slavery. We are promised, too, a Scott Joplin piano solo. I love singing the big choral works but some of these smaller pieces, popular songs from Broadway shows etc., whilst not the type of music normally on my CD player, have nevertheless been fun to vocalise – and I have thoroughly enjoyed the Gershwin.
After this concert the choir takes a well earned Summer break. It has been a busy year with four concerts (two at Christmas and one each at Easter and Summer). Choir will resume on Tuesday 4 September with rehearsals for our two Christmas concerts on Saturday 15 and Tuesday 18 December. The main piece will be the world premiere of a new work by our conductor Jonathan Rathbone and choir member Paul Whitnall, ‘Mr Fezziwig’s Christmas Party’ (based on the passage from Charles Dickens‘ novel ‘A Christmas Carol’). There will also be a variety of well, and not so well, known Christmas carols and music for a concert of seasonal goodies.
The Rowantree Choir is a friendly group based in North/North East London and new members are welcomed – no audition is necessary. Practices are on Tuesday evenings.